The latest Alien movie has come to blu-ray (and other formats!) so I was finally able to watch it, and too my surprise… it might be my least favourite film in the franchise (Counting the AvP series as separate…). With the sole exception of David from Prometheus I just didn’t have any interest in the characters at all, and once again the Xenomorph stuff seemed tacked on to an otherwise well-plotted “A.I. gone rogue” storyline. Ah well, let’s have a closer look anyway!
Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David, the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Cast of Characters:
He’s a jolly character!
David (Michael Fassbender) – Peter Weyland’s personal android has gained sentience, and along with it the idea that humanity isn’t worthy of survival, and that it was his job to create the next species to take their place…
Janet Daniels (Katherine Waterston) – Janet is the Chief Terraformist of the Covenant and the wife of the ship’s Captain. Things start off bad and only get worse for her…
Chris Oram (Billy Crudup) – An uncharacteristically-for-the-time faithful man who believes their quest of colonisation is a thing of destiny…
Walter (Michael Fassbender) – A later generation android model who has had all the potential sentience programmed out of him (plus has an American accent rather than the creepy English one!)
Tennessee Faris (Danny McBride) – He’s called Tennessee, he wears a cowboy hat and he … well, that’s about it for his character development, actually…
Who knew androids’ hair grows naturally?
Michael Fassbender once again PERFECTLY nails the character of David, now fully formed into an anti-humanity A.I. but is still pretty much emotionless. There are some genuinely creepy scenes with him, especially when he forces himself on Janet seemingly for the sole goal of creeping her out. The idea that he has bio-engineered the face huggers and is therefore potentially the “God” / “Creator” of the Xenomorphs as we know them is interesting, though how a whole Engineer ship full of his creations ends up on another planet is still an awkward mystery. Loved the very end shot of David, now with a colony ship of thousands under his control, stores some face hugger embryos away and walks quietly down a hall of cryo-sleeping humans…
Walter, the new android, is also well played by Mr. Fassbender, and the odd scenes with David trying to teach his successor how to be free (and at one point a bizarre Fassbender-on-Fassbender kissing scene!) was once again well done. Their fight towards the end of the film was good too, though it was the most obvious twist of all time that he David was pretending to be Walter at the end. Seriously, if someone didn’t see that coming when we didn’t see the end of the fight then… yikes.
The new white-skinned and seemingly blind Xenomorph-like create was well realised, and it was nice to see a pretty much dead-on Xenomorph again, but it all seemed unnecessary given the plot of Prometheus and this is clearly David as the central antagonist rather than them. That being said, the “fight” between Janet and the Xenomorph on the rocket lift… crane … thing was good fun.
I just… don’t care about either of you! I’m sorry.
All the human characters. I just didn’t care about any of them! Janet was no Ripley, or even Liz Shaw, who I at least got behind and liked by the end of Prometheus. The rest of the cast was so cookie-cutter and bland… Chris and his “I’m religious and most people aren’t” shtick is about as subtly written as… my arse, what ever that means, and Tennessee Faris? Tennessee? And he wears a cowboy hat! Jeez… As for the rest of the crew that gets picked off one by one? Don’t even remember them. At all. And I watched this film last night (as of writing, I didn’t leave it to the last minute!).
I already mentioned the most obvious twist of all time with David replacing Walter, and how the Xenomorphs just oddly seem tacked on at this point, but they are valid complaints. Also Tennessee is worried about his wife so he tries to take a colony ship of 2,000 sleeping people and ram it through the atmosphere despite the computer telling him it will destroy the ship? What a complete knob! Have some perspective! Then the people around him LET HIM DO IT…. And then nothing bad happens. Oh. Not even a piece of the ship comes off, or the cockpit rocking violently? Hmm… I guess the computer was wrong then.
No quite the chest buster scene, but effectively gory nonetheless.
Now it may look like I’ve written more good than bad, but the bad is the characters and their actions, which is pretty damn bad. I mean, this at least has David in it, which is a great character to watch, so I think I’d place it above Alien3, but … man, I don’t know… it’s not very good. Unlike Prometheus, which I found I enjoyed a lot more than the general consensus, this was as bad if not worse than its reputation. Oddly I do want another sequel because I want to know what happens with David and his creations and how they end up on an Engineer ship that was being piloted by an Engineer itself, but after that let’s just leave the Xenomorphs alone for a while…